The Healing at the Pool on a Sabbath
- Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture.
- Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.
- This pool, called Bethesda, meaning “house of mercy” had 5 covered porches, the remains of which are still to be seen in Jerusalem, beneath a 5th century basilica.
- On a Sabbath day, a Saturday, during one of the feasts of Israel, Jesus approaches a man who had been disabled for 38 years. He was present at the pool hoping for a healing, and likely begging as well.
- Jesus initiates the encounter. He asks the man if he wanted to be healed. The man replies that he had no one to help get into the pool when the water was stirred up. (Omitted from modern editions of this passage is a fable about an angel stirring the waters and if entered then, healings took place.)
- Jesus tells the man to take up his bed and walk. He does so, and Jesus slips back into the crowd of people present.
- Religious authorities spy the now healed man carrying his bed and accost him, warning him that by carrying his bed he is breaking the Sabbath law against work of any kind.
- The man reports he does not know who it was who healed him. Later Jesus finds the man at the temple and tells him to sin no longer, which either means some sin had caused the illness or that he was still then deep into sin.
- The healed man goes immediately to the religious authorities and tells them the healer is Jesus. John then tells us that the healing on a Sabbath day was used to launch a persecution against Jesus. And to His accusers, Jesus speaks of God as His Father, thus making Him equal with God.